In the last FIFA World Cup 2018, one of the highlights in the tournament was when Xherdan Shaqiri celebrated his goal with Albanian eagle gesture as he scored for the Swiss on the match against Serbia. Well, the controversy is all political but it got me since we’re going to talk about the capital city in Albania this week!
Yup, this is gonna be the first city in Albania to be covered in the $10 series. Thanks to Erika’s Travelventures, she’s going to share how far you could go with $10 USD in Tirana.
Is it an expensive city? Is it affordable enough to travel with comfort in the city? Well, let’s check out and see the city closer from Erika’s point of view! 🙂
Learn More about Albanian History and Do Some Museum-Hopping in Tirana
Tirana is the capital of Albania, its political and economic center. Historically, Tirana was a city torn apart. First by Nazi occupation, then by an oppressive communist regime and dictatorship. Now, Tirana has moved beyond its difficult past to become a bustling and well-developed capital city.
$10 USD is equivalent to 1080 Albanian Lek. Note that many places in Tirana will accept Euros as a form of payment, including hostels, hotels, museums, and other tourist-oriented places.
1080 Lek gives you many options on how to spend a day in Tirana, but not a lot of options in terms of accommodation. A hostel dorm bed in Tirana costs from $6 to $8 USD for a bed, and hotel rooms will cost about $20 USD per night.
Bunk Art 2 Museum
For 500 Lek ($4.60 USD), it’s worth paying to see the Bunk Art 2 Museum, which is located in a former nuclear bunker under the heart of the city.
This museum of tunnels and small rooms is where the paranoid Albanian Minister of Internal Affairs would have lived out the rest of his life if there had been a nuclear apocalypse. Each room here is an exhibit, showcasing political persecution that occurred throughout Albanian history.
National History Museum around Skanderberg Square
For 200 Lek ($1.85 USD), you can also visit the National History Museum, which showcases Albanian history starting from ancient times, through World War II, to modern Albanian cultures and traditions. There is a massive mosaic at the front of the museum that is the highlight of Skanderberg Square in the center of Tirana.
Pazari i Ri is a local marketplace just east of Skanderberg Square where you can purchase nuts, olives, and fruits in bulk, as well as do some antique and souvenir shopping.
If you are just shopping for one person, you could spend around 200 to 500 Lek ($1.85 to $4.60 USD) here for a snack worth of fruits and olives. For 100 Lek (around 90 cents), you can purchase your standard small souvenirs like magnets or a set of postcards.
Be careful of vendors who may try to rip you off if they know you’re a tourist though!
What to Eat around Tirana
If you’re feeling hungry, you can also pop into one of Tirana’s many local bakeries and purchase rolls, baguettes, and pastries for less than 50 Lek (50 cents) per piece.
A coffee and a pastry together can cost 100 Lek (90 cents). Eating out at a fancier cafe or a restaurant may cost you around 200 to 500 Lek ($1.85 to $4.60 USD) per person.
In summation, if you are in Tirana with $10 USD, it would be possible to stay in the lowest budget hostel for one night, and eat only at local bakeries for very cheap. If you purchase accommodation separately, however, with $10 USD, you can see many museums and enjoy some souvenir shopping and nice coffee shops and restaurants.
Contributor: Erika from Erika’s Travelventures
Erika left her corporate job in America to start backpacking around the world in October 2017. After almost two years and 25 countries, she is planning her next trekking adventure and looking forward to the next country to explore. She is currently based (for now!) in Tokyo, Japan.